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Scratch, the “programming language for children”: what it is and how to learn it

In an increasingly digital world, programming literacy at an early age is a fundamental skill for the future. However, for those who have no prior knowledge or consider themselves beginners, learning some of the most popular languages ​​can seem intimidating and overwhelming.

In this context and in the face of the growing demand for human resources, Scratch appears, a visual programming platform that stands out for its Friendly interface and creative approach.

What it is and how to program it in Scratch

This programming language for beginners was created in a laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or as it is known by its acronym MIT. Its main characteristic is that it allows the development of mental skills through learning programming, without having deep knowledge about the code.

Due to its characteristics, specialists conclude that Scratch It is an accessible programming language for any type of user. However, it is important that they have a good foundation in mathematics, logic and problem solving.

One of the most notable aspects of this language is its graphical user interface.

Instead of writing lines of code as in Javascript Python or PHP Among others, users can create programs by dragging and dropping programming blocks. Therefore you don’t need to worry about syntax or code errors; Instead, users can focus on logic and creativity.

The blocks represent specific commands and actions, such as moving a character, changing its appearance, playing sounds, or performing calculations. Users can combine these blocks intuitively to create complex programs. This structure encourages understanding of programming logic, experimenting and learning effectively.

Scratch also allows you to unleash your creativity, as it offers tools to create custom characters and backgrounds (scenarios) for your projects.

Different projects to start exercising programming logic. Photos: Scratch

Also design and animate characters, allowing them tell interactive stories or create unique games. This ability to customize is one of the features that makes it so attractive to young people and creative adults alike.

“Scratch is a programming language that can be a good option for children to learn to program. It is easy to use and offers a wide variety of possibilities,” acknowledges Sebastián Divinsky, Co-CEO of EducaciónIT, in dialogue with Clarion.

Although it is not in the top 10 most popular programming languages, according to the TIOBE Index, which measures the popularity of programming languages ​​based on their use on the Internet, it is widely used in the educational field and is especially popular among children and beginners who are learning the fundamental concepts of programming.

How important is it to learn programming as a child?

As this friendly language intends, specialists agree that learning programming from an early age has several advantages.

Programming involves creating algorithms and solving problems systematically. Children who learn to program develop logical thinking and the ability to approach challenges in a structured way. This skill is useful in everyday life and in a wide variety of disciplines.

Programming for kids.  Scratch PhotoProgramming for kids. Scratch Photo

It’s not just about following rules and procedures, but also about creativity and innovation. Kids can unleash their imagination by creating unique digital projects. Programming encourages creativity by allowing them to experiment and find creative solutions to problems.

Programming is not a solitary activity. Coding projects are often developed in teams, which encourages collaboration and communication between children. Learning to work as a team is a valuable skill that will translate into future work environments.

Programming problems can be challenging, pushing children to think critically and analyze situations in detail. They learn to break problems down into smaller parts and approach each component independently, which develops problem-solving skills.

As technology continues to transform the world of work, technology-related careers are booming. Learning programming as a child gives children a head start in preparing for future jobs in fields such as computing, artificial intelligence, app development, and cybersecurity.

“In Argentina, as elsewhere, there is a growing interest in programming education and digital literacy. This has led to a growing demand for professionals who can teach programming to children and young people, as well as develop educational content related to programming,” says Sebastián Divinsky.

And he adds: “The market needs programmers who have learned to program since they were children. These programmers have the skills and creativity necessary to develop new technologies and innovations.”

The salary of a Scratch programmer depends on your experience, skills, and where you work. However, in general, these types of professionals have competitive salaries.

The salary of a Scratch programmer depends on your experience, skills, and where you work. In an SME, for example, they start at around $150,000 and go up to 220,000 pesos in a multinational.

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